Early North Dakota Winter Storm Topples Driving Range Nets in Viral Video

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A driving range in Fargo, North Dakota is making a few repairs after an early winter storm’s heavy ice toppled its nets late last week.

A video obtained by The Weather Channel shows the winter storm dropping ice, which accumulated on the driving range’s nets. The built-up heavy ice then caused chunks of the netting to fall one after another in a domino-like way. Then a large section of the netting came crashing down at the end of the video. 

According to KARE 11, North Dakota was predicted to potentially see 18 inches of snow during its first major winter storm of the season. The storm had made its way from the Rockies and was also predicted to kick up winds as high as 50 mph. Among incidents caused by the weather conditions was a chain reaction crash that totaled a state trooper’s vehicle. The accident also caused the closure of Interstate 94 in eastern North Dakota for several hours mid-week. The storm then shut down Interstate 29 in eastern North Dakota as well. 

Although both interstates were able to reopen, travel was expected to become nearly impossible. The National Weather Service even predicted whiteout conditions during the winter storm. Jacqueline Swiftbird, a cashier at the Flying J truck stop, spoke about going to work during the snowstorm. She saw a semi-trailer carrying other vehicles get stuck outside her window. She then noted that she was the only cashier that was able to make it to work.

Speaking about the winter storm’s conditions, Swiftbird told the media outlet, “It is extremely, extremely hazardous out there. I am really busy being the only cashier but I would rather not have any other employees try to make it here in these conditions.”

Meteorologist Says North Dakota Was Getting the Worst of the Winter Storm 

Meanwhile, meteorologist Carl Jones reported that North Dakota was getting the worst of the winter storm. The storm came through North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, and Minnesota. The other states did have storm warnings issued. 

“Right now it’s mainly driven by heavy snow amounts,” Jones said about the winter storm. He is a meteorologist out of the weather service’s eastern North Dakota office in Grand Forks. “We are talking 1- to 2-inch per hour rates over a pretty wide swath.”

However, Jones did say that the first winter storm of the season is always a learning and relearning experience. He went on to add, “We kind of lean on that. That first storm, if you will, of the season, we really try to get the message out to be extra cautious. We’re really trying to remind people to practice good safe driving habits and get their winter survival kits into their vehicles.”